The Jeweled Carpet
|Title:||The Jeweled Carpet|
|Author(s):||loannia and jat sapphire|
|Fandom:||Starsky & Hutch|
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The story features the character Tommy Marlowe, the bat-wielding man from the episode "Vendetta" who admitted to killing his family earlier in Indiana, and had become a hired killer and rapist who worked for one of the most repulsive bad guys on the show, Artie Solkin. It was Tommy who broke Hutch's girlfriend's arm and attempted to rape her, causing Abby to leave Hutch.
The fic was allegedly submitted to an issue of Dangerous Lives, Dangerous Visions, a print zine that published controversial Starsky & Hutch stories, but was not accepted, supposedly due to editorial differences.
The story was possibly online for a short time, but exists now only as drawerfic.
If the Story Had Warnings...
The fic was written before fans routinely requested warnings.
There are many, many boundaries crossed regarding Tommy and Hutch's relationship, including elements of psychological age play, consent, child abuse, discussions of sexual abuse of a minor, past-rape, jealously issues, inappropriate psychological boundaries, and extreme violence. The fic has so many triggers, it could be a gun show.
Tommy Marlowe was portrayed by actor Gary Sandy who, two years later, went on to star in WKRP Cincinnati. The actor was 31 years old at the time.
Tommy's age in the show appeared to have been early-twenties. It is unclear how long Tommy was in the psychiatric hospital but it would have to have been at at least three years, as there is still mention of Starsky having physical therapy from being shot in the last episode of the aired show.
Hutch treats him as one would a nine-year old, and Tommy's own behavior and speech is that of someone with the mental age of someone under ten. Hutch tousles Tommy's hair, dresses him, bathes him, and tucks him into bed.
Tommy's age in the story is never mentioned, however, and he is often referred to as a boy, a child, and Hutch calls Tommy "baby." At the very end of the story, Hutch states that Tommy was "a lot older" than nineteen.
Some Story Elements
In "The Jeweled Carpet," Tommy is released from the psychiatric hospital and has nowhere to go. He calls Hutch, and Hutch, without asking Starsky, brings Tommy to the home to where he and Starsky live. Hutch becomes Tommy's babysitter and father-figure (Tommy alternately calls Hutch by his last name, and "Daddy"), something that Starsky is very angry about.
Starsky develops an odd relationship with Tommy as well, and is brutally blunt about Tommy's intentions and mental state. He physically assaults Tommy when Tommy refuses to wash the dishes, yet the two of them watch Daffy Duck on television, eat pizza, and play Monopoly like a couple of little kids on a sleepover. Starsky starts to teach Tommy how to fix the Torino.
From the very beginning, Tommy displays many outwardly disturbing moods and statements; he doesn't remember where he is, he has flashbacks to the night his whole family was murdered, he is intensely jealous of the relationship between Hutch and Starsky, asks explicit inappropriate questions about their sexual habits (which Hutch inappropriately answers), offers himself sexually to Hutch, and more. Yet Hutch perseveres in being Tommy's advocate, much to the detriment of his relationship with Starsky.
Some plot tidbits:
- Hutch lies to a psychiatrist and tells him Tommy is his nephew in order to procure a large amout of powerful drugs for Tommy's paranoid schizophrenia.
- Hutch dresses up in a flamenco dancer's costume (one he has kept a secret from Starsky), and does a dance in front of both of them, singing: "Un, dos, tres! Ole! Ole! Ole! Tu y yo! Baile! Baile! Baile!"
- Hutch is shown to have a secret prescription to Valium, which he takes along with chugs of Jack Daniels.
- Hutch builds a fire in the oft-mentioned library, wraps Tommy in a comforter so the man would feel safe, and then reads Dickens to him. The Dickens is a bit of metaphor -- Tommy's horrendous pimp in the episode "Vendetta" had been compared to the Dicken's character, Fagin, something that is discussed in the story. Hutch, thank goodness, passed up reading "Lord of the Flies" (Tommy's favorite book) to Tommy.
- Starsky and Hutch have increasingly violent fights, some in front of Tommy. At one point, Starsky moves into a motel and watches gay porn on cable. Sadly, this is not very satisfying as he has to put six quarters in the television every few minutes, and soon runs out of coins and ends up leaving to buy potato chips. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Hutch and Tommy nearly have sex.
- Starsky returns home from the motel, and he and Hutch have a lot more sex. This makes Tommy so mad he rubs dog poop on Starsky's clothes. Starsky can't figure out what smell is and thinks its fish emulsion. This leads to nakedness, and more sex that is not with Tommy, something which makes Tommy madder.
- Tommy often hides in a shed in the backyard for hours at a time. Starsky and Hutch utilize this time by having more sex, often with lots of spanking.
- Tommy thinks about cutting Starsky with a razor blade and thinks of Starsky as a "hairy ape." He may or may not attempt to poison a health drink.
- In the end, Tommy attacks Starsky with a baseball bat giving him a broken arm and skull fracture, attacks Hutch with a baseball bat breaking his femur, three ribs gives him internal injuries, and rapes him. Hutch hits Tommy with a chair, breaking his back. Starsky has a near death experience and floats around the living room, seeing the bloody bodies of all three men on the floor.
- In the end, Tommy, now a quadriplegic, pleads guilty to two accounts of attempted murder, and goes to a fancy, private mental institution for 25 years, with Hutch picking up the bill. Hutch tells Tommy, "No, I won't visit you."
Some ExcerptsTommy is clearly mentally ill, something that is immediately obvious. From a scene during the first twenty-four hours Tommy is in Starsky and Hutch's home:
"I used to sit in my room at the hospital," Tommy said to the pictures, stroking Abby's  and then Hutch's. "I used to hold the frame like this and look at the faces, and I used to pretend that they were my mommy and daddy. I couldn't have my music, and there was, there was," that anxious gulp again, "too much in my head when I wasn't sleepy from the red stuff. I didn't like making things, like the others did. And I never learned the games. So when I could, I'd sit with my frame and think about my pretty blonde mommy and my—" He looked up, stricken, and Hutch couldn't take his eyes off that strange angular man's face with the child's baffled fear on it."It's okay," he said. "Tommy, I don't mind. It's okay. People, sometimes, people have to make things up, just for comfort. Everybody does that sometimes." God knew he had done it himself. There but for the grace of God he went, and though he'd felt that with Tommy since the night they'd arrested him, at this moment he burned with a flame of empathy that brought tears to his eyes. He reached out as he would have to Kiko, even to Starsky. His hands covered Tommy's on the frame, then slid up the rangy long arms until he cupped a shoulder and a cheek. "I'd be your daddy if I could," he said, never thinking what an impossible promise he was making.
Hutch tucks Tommy into bed at night:
Yes, there is an actual jeweled carpet in the story:
Hutch turned once more but was halted by the small voice behind him. "Will you kiss me goodnight? A love kiss, not a rape kiss?"And only now you're learning there's a difference? thought Hutch, mournfully. "Get ready for bed, young man. Wash your face. Brush your teeth. Get in bed, then call. I'll come tuck you in, and I'll give you a goodnight kiss, all right?"
At one point, Tommy listens to Starsky and Hutch having noisy, consensual, violent sex:
He wanted Hutch, but In the man's absence, at least Starsky could look at the carpet. It was satisfying to tear open the paper, crunch It In his hands; he spread the thing out on the bedspread, which It half covered. The semiprecious stones against the black velvet glinted and gleamed. Starsky ran his fingers along the pattern on the edge. In and out, the gold thread scratchy and the silk rough-soft. He stroked around a turquoise lump, pebbly as an erect nipple, and fantasized laying Hutch down on this carpet and fucking him blind. The gold In the thread would match his hair, but the topaz and turquoise couldn't live up to his eyes, the way they blazed when he gave himself so fiercely —so wildly that just thinking about It made Starsky's cock stir. He pressed It through the denim with one hand and put the other flat on the carpet, where the turquoise hit the soft spot In his palm, unyielding even as the rest of the cloth sank.
He lifted his hand. Not really a good Idea, fucking on the carpet or even lying down on It. Hutch would have little bruises from head to toe. Starsky shook his head. He wanted to be the one to leave little round bruises on Hutch, and not with rocks, either.He left the carpet spread out for Hutch to look at and shut the bedroom door behind him before going back downstairs to face Tommy again.
When Tommy is stung by a bee, Starsky and Hutch frantically strip him naked and put him in the bathtub, then rub Tommy down, put him to bed, and nearly have sex on the floor next to the sleeping man:
The wicked crack of the belt on skin brought his head up fast. The Lord of the Flies fell to the floor, unheeded. He rose quickly to his feet as he heard the belt land again and he flinched, but kept moving. The sound was coming from their bedroom. The shotgun-like snaps continued as he cautiously but swiftly climbed the stairs.
He paused, carefully, a few feet away from the closed door and crouched down in the hall, baffled but curious. Two more blows were landed in quick succession, and then there was Starsky's voice, low and pained: "I love you. Hutch. I love you."
"I know. I know, babe," he heard Hutch respond, shakily. "Please—"
The whipping noises went on for another five minutes, accompanied by the harsh and heavy gasps of the two men inside. No more words were spoken. By this time Tommy was kneeling outside the door, his ear pressed to the cool wood. Then the quality of the sounds changed, and Tommy could tell that Hutch had decided to love Starsky, but the moans of pain and pleasure were muffled somehow, as if by a pillow. The slapping of flesh against flesh went on interminably; Tommy began to despair. He felt like Jack, mortified and ostracized, and he began to cry silently.
It took another 20 minutes for the muted cries of ecstasy to reach a crescendo, and by then Tommy was crawling back down the hall on his hands and knees towards his own dark room. He wouldn't let himself listen to the strangled howls of climax that followed him. He shut his door quietly and crept under the bed,making sure the valance hid him completely. Then he wept without restraint.
Some interpersonal relations:Hutch lifted Tommy by himself and lowered the thrashing form into the water, climbing in with him to support the boy's head on his lap. "Go get the bag of ice from the freezer!" panted Hutch, as the waves lapped around him like high tide at the beach. "Hurry!"
At Hutch's instructions, Starsky emptied the whole bag into the tub, freezing water splashing over onto the floor; then backed up and watched, horrified but fascinated, as the blond massaged Tommy's head, shoulders and chest. "It's all right, baby," he was crooning in his most calming voice. "It's okay. The bugs are gone. You see. Tommy? I have you; you're safe. The bugs are all gone." He looked up at Starsky pleadingly. "Get his meds—the blue pills and one of the red bottles in the kitchen cabinet next to Mother's china. Pour a cup of coffee, anything hot. Fast. Please."
Starsky could see that Hutch was starting to shake uncontrollably, partly from the low temperature of the water and partly from exertion. Starsky himself was trembling, but he ignored the urge to throw a towel over Hutch's shoulders and did as his partner asked. Hutch got the drugs down Tommy's throat somehow, spilling Librium tablets and Thorazine haphazardly in the process. He kept rubbing with his hands and soothing with his voice, jets pounding, until Tommy stopped fighting and his eyelids started to droop. All three of them were breathing so hard they sounded iike hydraulic lifts.
"Help me get him dry and into bed," said Hutch, his voice breaking with strain. Starsky was still in shock. He got bath towels down from the closet (those, at least, were readily available) and they unwrapped and stripped Tommy, rubbing him dry, bundling him up in a fresh robe.
Together they carried him to his room; then Hutch took over again and laid the younger man down on the pillows as though he were handling an infant. He swaddled Tommy in the comforters and stroked the long brown hair back from the pale features until the boy's breathing grew easy and it was obvious he was asleep.
"W-w-what the fuck was that?" hissed Starsky, awed and terrified at the same time.
Hutch didn't answer and kept his gaze on Tommy's face. Then he took hold of himself and started to rock slowly. He was shuddering so hard he was nearly vibrating. Starsky realized that he himself was still shivering, his roiling emotions threatening to spill over at any second.
"Oh, god, oh, Starsk," said Hutch, and even his words shook. "Warm me; hold me."Kneeling, Starsky pulled Hutch off the bed and onto the floor, gathering his partner onto his lap and into his arms.
Starsky leaned forward and made another grab for his arm. Hutch avoided him deftly. "Cut it out, Starsk I'm not kidding."
"Come back here, you little bitch," snarled Starsky, but before he could move again, the blond had spun and knocked him back onto the landing with unexpected force.
"I said, "stop." I mean it." Hutch's gaze had gone laser-sharp. "Keep your hands off of me."
Starsky recovered enough to smirk, "You always say 'stop,' darlin'. You always mean 'start'." "Not this time." And Hutch was down the stairs and gone.Starsky got up and descended after him slowly, the expression on his face dark.
Hutch carelessly, and slyly, self-medicates:
One of several scenes in "library":
One shot. No, two. And some valium. So he headed back through the dining room and across the foyer. As he passed the foot of the stairs he glanced up, warily, but the landing was empty. He only noticed himself biting the inside of his mouth when the pain jarred him.
He swore to himself and practically stomped into the living room, digging out the prescription bottle from where he normally kept it, hidden behind the Jack Daniels under the bar. He managed to tumble a few more tablets than he wanted Into his palm, but then thought, what the hell. He downed the pills and thewhiskey in one gulp.
Tommy offers himself sexually to Hutch:
Hutch built a fire and wrapped Tommy in a comforter, to be warm and feel safe; he put on the classical music station on the stereo; he sat on the couch, hadTommy snuggle up to his legs, and read aloud in as soothing a voice as he could. He wouldn't read Lord of the Fiies, though. He wanted something cadenced, so he'd automatically grabbed Dickens and read, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness... "
Hutch tries to explain some things to Tommy:
"Listen to me. Tommy. Sit up."
"Don't you want to love me? Because I was bad and I scared you?" Hutch touched Tommy's hair; smoothed it gently.
"Tommy, I love you already. Please sit up."
"You want me up higher in front? Like doggies?"
Hutch crossed his legs and put his head in his hands.
"I'm not going to rape you, Tommy. Pull your jeans back on."
"Why won't you r-r...do that thing to me? Love me?" The question trailed off on a note of despair. "You do it with David. You love David. Why not me, too?"
Hutch could see that his relatively hands-off approach was getting nowhere. He reached over purposefully and hauled the younger man's jeans back up over his buttocks, but he could not, would not, touch Tommy's genitals.
"Tuck yourself back in and zip up. Tommy," he ordered. "Do it now."
Tommy complied slowly. He had started to cry and stopped himself. His cheeks were flaming with embarrassment. "Are you mad at me?" he asked, simply. "Will you hit me now?"
Hutch shook his head. "No, I'm not going to hit you. Ever." He rubbed his eyes, feeling exhausted. "My mother used to hit me. A lot of times she was angry. A lot of times she wasn't. It made her feel good. It made me feel bad."
"It made you hit David!" protested Tommy, wildly. "You hit David and then you love him!"Oh, shit, thought Hutch. Fuck, fuck, fuck. "I don't hit David, baby. He hits me. Sometimes. Only when I ask him to."
All this talk about sex and love and boundaries is for naught, however:
"The word 'love' doesn't mean 'to have sex with'. Tommy. It should mean the same thing, but it doesn't. Sometimes people have sex with one another, but they don't love each other.
Sometimes one person loves and the other doesn't. Sometimes, someone will have sex with someone and not get permission first. They do it even if the other person doesn't want it, and that is never right. When that happens, it's called 'rape'. And if someone rapes another person, then I get to arrest them and a judge puts them in jail for a long time, so that they can't do it again. Maybe they even learn it was bad."
Tommy was thinking. "That...that happened to me. You arrested me, and the Judge said I was wrong. So when I used to hit people, when I broke them...and I only had Artie's permission, and they said no, was that rape?"
"No. But it was wrong."
"But the lady, the one..." Tommy's brow furrowed. "I raped her? The picture?"
"No. But you tried to. Everything that Artie told you to do was wrong. Everything that Artie did to you was wrong."
"You hit Artie, and he said no. You hurt him. I saw." Accusatory. Still loyal, after all that."I hit Artie because he was doing bad things to you, and because he tried to hurt David and me. He tried to kill me. Tommy. You always have a right to fight back if someone is trying to hurt you or someone you love. Because I'm a policeman, I can fight back if someone is trying to hurt anybody in any way."
Hutch made a low, rumbling sound, and Tommy had to try hard not to glance up yet. The noise was like a growl or a deep purr, or a little of both. It scared him. He got the zipper undone and pulled the edges away, and then got even more scared. How could David let Hutch stick this thing in his bottom?l Tommy had never seen one this big. He was sure it would hurt a lot. Artie was tiny and smelly. It had never lasted very long before he did the wet junk. But Tommy had heard Hutch and David do it for hours. Tommy bit his bottom lip and tried to stop the tears. He handled the big thing tentatively. It moved; got stiffer.
Reactions and Reviews
The story is a very odd and disturbing one. Starsky and Hutch act out of character from the very beginning. The plot is full of non-sequiturs, people over-react to some things and under-react to others, there is some mystical Middle Eastern metaphors regarding paradise and the jeweled carpet, the age-play is disconcerting, and kinks run amok. Starsky and Hutch have loud, violent sex all over the house and don't seem to care who hears, and there are no responsible adults in the entire madhouse of this story. Three-fourths of the way through the story, Hutch thinks: Oh God, I have a schizoid delusional with arrested development and disassociative symptoms calling me Daddy, in my house, in Starsky's life. Well. Yes. That. And so much more. 
- Abigail Crabtree is one of Hutch's former girlfriends. She left Hutch after Tommy broke her arm and tried to rape her.
- MPH's personal notes, 2017